Meet Ruffles, an adorable female kudu…A fitful night with weird circumstances…

The female kudu facing the camera is Ruffles since her ears are ruffly, unlike the other kudus.

The days seem to pass quickly lately, but the nights sometimes drag on. Last night was one of those nights for me. I awoke at 2:00 am itching from mozzie and chigger bites. I got up and put on some numbing cream, the only product that seems to help me sleep when itchy.

After leaving the bathroom after applying the cream, I crawled back into bed, hoping I wouldn’t wake Tom. He stirred but seemed sound asleep, with a soft snore passing through his lips, which never bothered me. Wide awake after getting back into bed, I plugged my wired earpiece into my right ear so I could comfortably lay on my left side, figuring I’d watch an episode of Naked and Afraid to lull me back to sleep. With the earpiece plugged into the phone, Tom doesn’t hear the show.

Watching a show on my phone always helps me fall back to sleep. But, often, the show continues to play, wearing down the battery. If I awake a few hours later and can’t go back to sleep, my phone may be dead. There’s a power cord next to the bed, but it’s very short, and I have to lay close to the edge of the bed to have it charge while I am using it.

Our Big Daddy regularly stops to enjoy some pellets.

There’s a shortage of outlets in houses in Africa with no particular building and zoning laws requiring an outlet every so-many meters. As a result, charging our laptops and phones is sometimes challenging, and we have to share certain outlets with multiple pieces of equipment.

Sitting at the dining room table, there is nowhere to plug in my laptop (with an adapter and converter). I can plug my phone into my computer, but that drains the laptop’s battery more quickly. The only place in the house to plug in my laptop is next to my side of the bed, with a tangled mass of cords on the floor that I have to navigate every time I get up to avoid tripping.

So, anyway, last night, when I got back into bed planning to watch the show, my phone had gone into some peculiar “talk-back” mode. I could not manipulate any apps on the phone, let alone get into “settings” to figure out how this happened. After playing around with the phone for about 30 minutes, I decided the only way I could figure this out was to load my laptop and look up instructions to stop this weird feature.

Big Daddy is enormous,

When I got out of bed, I likely hit something on the phone that triggered the “talk-back” feature. I didn’t want to awaken Tom; I was cautious the screen wouldn’t be in his eyes. Luckily, he was facing the opposite way, and I was able to load the laptop.

In only a matter of 60 seconds, I found instructions on how to disable “talk back.” It was to double press both sides of the volume button on the right side of the phone, below the start button. It worked immediately. Of course, during the entire time I tried to resolve this situation, I kept the phone charging on the short cord, or else I may have had a dead battery by the time the issue was resolved.

Finally, the phone was charged sufficiently, and I could load Express VPN and then the Discovery app to bring up the show, Naked and Afraid, and I rolled over onto my left side to watch the show. Within minutes, I was back to sleep to find the show had automatically moved through two more episodes while I slept until 7:30 am, overall getting enough total sleep to feel OK. Next time I watch the show, I’ll return to where I left off when I fell asleep.

Again, Big Daddy and Norman face-off, but both stay calm.

Sure, I’d love to be one of those people who fall asleep after their head hits the pillow and then proceed to sleep through the night. That’s never been me. But, overall, I get enough sleep, usually seven to eight hours each night. My Fitbit seems pretty accurate in logging how much sleep I get each night and the quality of that sleep.

Today, we’re staying in and again cooking on the braai with pork chops for Tom, a lamb chop for me, rice for Tom, and salad for both of us. The weather is tolerable, humid but not too hot, but certainly, we’ll enjoy a lovely afternoon and evening with the wildlife and perhaps sundowners on the veranda.

Tomorrow, we’re off to Komatipoort for our appointments with Doc Theo, a trip to the pharmacy and grocery shop, and, if time allows, lunch at Stoep Cafe. Also, tomorrow evening, we’re off to Jabula for more fun at the bar and restaurant. It will be nice to get out.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, March 23, 2022:

We always had a reason to celebrate. Here is Don (Kathy and Don) and Rita (Rita and Gerhard) at Jabula celebrating our friendships. For more photos, please click here.

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